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Job 23-24 English Standard Version (ESV)

Job Replies: Where Is God?

23 Then Job answered and said:

“Today also my complaint is bitter;[a]
    my hand is heavy on account of my groaning.
Oh, that I knew where I might find him,
    that I might come even to his seat!
I would lay my case before him
    and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would know what he would answer me
    and understand what he would say to me.
Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?
    No; he would pay attention to me.
There an upright man could argue with him,
    and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.

“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there,
    and backward, but I do not perceive him;
on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him;
    he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.
10 But he knows the way that I take;
    when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
11 My foot has held fast to his steps;
    I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
    I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.
13 But he is unchangeable,[b] and who can turn him back?
    What he desires, that he does.
14 For he will complete what he appoints for me,
    and many such things are in his mind.
15 Therefore I am terrified at his presence;
    when I consider, I am in dread of him.
16 God has made my heart faint;
    the Almighty has terrified me;
17 yet I am not silenced because of the darkness,
    nor because thick darkness covers my face.

24 “Why are not times of judgment kept by the Almighty,
    and why do those who know him never see his days?
Some move landmarks;
    they seize flocks and pasture them.
They drive away the donkey of the fatherless;
    they take the widow's ox for a pledge.
They thrust the poor off the road;
    the poor of the earth all hide themselves.
Behold, like wild donkeys in the desert
    the poor[c] go out to their toil, seeking game;
    the wasteland yields food for their children.
They gather their[d] fodder in the field,
    and they glean the vineyard of the wicked man.
They lie all night naked, without clothing,
    and have no covering in the cold.
They are wet with the rain of the mountains
    and cling to the rock for lack of shelter.
(There are those who snatch the fatherless child from the breast,
    and they take a pledge against the poor.)
10 They go about naked, without clothing;
    hungry, they carry the sheaves;
11 among the olive rows of the wicked[e] they make oil;
    they tread the winepresses, but suffer thirst.
12 From out of the city the dying[f] groan,
    and the soul of the wounded cries for help;
    yet God charges no one with wrong.

13 “There are those who rebel against the light,
    who are not acquainted with its ways,
    and do not stay in its paths.
14 The murderer rises before it is light,
    that he may kill the poor and needy,
    and in the night he is like a thief.
15 The eye of the adulterer also waits for the twilight,
    saying, ‘No eye will see me’;
    and he veils his face.
16 In the dark they dig through houses;
    by day they shut themselves up;
    they do not know the light.
17 For deep darkness is morning to all of them;
    for they are friends with the terrors of deep darkness.

18 “You say, ‘Swift are they on the face of the waters;
    their portion is cursed in the land;
    no treader turns toward their vineyards.
19 Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters;
    so does Sheol those who have sinned.
20 The womb forgets them;
    the worm finds them sweet;
they are no longer remembered,
    so wickedness is broken like a tree.’

21 “They wrong the barren, childless woman,
    and do no good to the widow.
22 Yet God[g] prolongs the life of the mighty by his power;
    they rise up when they despair of life.
23 He gives them security, and they are supported,
    and his eyes are upon their ways.
24 They are exalted a little while, and then are gone;
    they are brought low and gathered up like all others;
    they are cut off like the heads of grain.
25 If it is not so, who will prove me a liar
    and show that there is nothing in what I say?”

Footnotes:

  1. Job 23:2 Or defiant
  2. Job 23:13 Or one
  3. Job 24:5 Hebrew they
  4. Job 24:6 Hebrew his
  5. Job 24:11 Hebrew their olive rows
  6. Job 24:12 Or the men
  7. Job 24:22 Hebrew he
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Job 23-24 New International Version (NIV)

Job

23 Then Job replied:

“Even today my complaint is bitter;
    his hand[a] is heavy in spite of[b] my groaning.
If only I knew where to find him;
    if only I could go to his dwelling!
I would state my case before him
    and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would find out what he would answer me,
    and consider what he would say to me.
Would he vigorously oppose me?
    No, he would not press charges against me.
There the upright can establish their innocence before him,
    and there I would be delivered forever from my judge.

“But if I go to the east, he is not there;
    if I go to the west, I do not find him.
When he is at work in the north, I do not see him;
    when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.
10 But he knows the way that I take;
    when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
11 My feet have closely followed his steps;
    I have kept to his way without turning aside.
12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips;
    I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.

13 “But he stands alone, and who can oppose him?
    He does whatever he pleases.
14 He carries out his decree against me,
    and many such plans he still has in store.
15 That is why I am terrified before him;
    when I think of all this, I fear him.
16 God has made my heart faint;
    the Almighty has terrified me.
17 Yet I am not silenced by the darkness,
    by the thick darkness that covers my face.

24 “Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment?
    Why must those who know him look in vain for such days?
There are those who move boundary stones;
    they pasture flocks they have stolen.
They drive away the orphan’s donkey
    and take the widow’s ox in pledge.
They thrust the needy from the path
    and force all the poor of the land into hiding.
Like wild donkeys in the desert,
    the poor go about their labor of foraging food;
    the wasteland provides food for their children.
They gather fodder in the fields
    and glean in the vineyards of the wicked.
Lacking clothes, they spend the night naked;
    they have nothing to cover themselves in the cold.
They are drenched by mountain rains
    and hug the rocks for lack of shelter.
The fatherless child is snatched from the breast;
    the infant of the poor is seized for a debt.
10 Lacking clothes, they go about naked;
    they carry the sheaves, but still go hungry.
11 They crush olives among the terraces[c];
    they tread the winepresses, yet suffer thirst.
12 The groans of the dying rise from the city,
    and the souls of the wounded cry out for help.
    But God charges no one with wrongdoing.

13 “There are those who rebel against the light,
    who do not know its ways
    or stay in its paths.
14 When daylight is gone, the murderer rises up,
    kills the poor and needy,
    and in the night steals forth like a thief.
15 The eye of the adulterer watches for dusk;
    he thinks, ‘No eye will see me,’
    and he keeps his face concealed.
16 In the dark, thieves break into houses,
    but by day they shut themselves in;
    they want nothing to do with the light.
17 For all of them, midnight is their morning;
    they make friends with the terrors of darkness.

18 “Yet they are foam on the surface of the water;
    their portion of the land is cursed,
    so that no one goes to the vineyards.
19 As heat and drought snatch away the melted snow,
    so the grave snatches away those who have sinned.
20 The womb forgets them,
    the worm feasts on them;
the wicked are no longer remembered
    but are broken like a tree.
21 They prey on the barren and childless woman,
    and to the widow they show no kindness.
22 But God drags away the mighty by his power;
    though they become established, they have no assurance of life.
23 He may let them rest in a feeling of security,
    but his eyes are on their ways.
24 For a little while they are exalted, and then they are gone;
    they are brought low and gathered up like all others;
    they are cut off like heads of grain.

25 “If this is not so, who can prove me false
    and reduce my words to nothing?”

Footnotes:

  1. Job 23:2 Septuagint and Syriac; Hebrew / the hand on me
  2. Job 23:2 Or heavy on me in
  3. Job 24:11 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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